Large swathes of land in Miners Rest and Invermay are at risk of severe flooding and should be identified in the Ballarat Planning Scheme, according to Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority advice.
The City of Ballarat will tonight consider a recommendation to introduce new flood management controls into the scheme, which sets out how land can be used and developed across the municipality.
Under the proposal, 178 properties are to be placed under ‘floodway’ or ‘land subject to inundation’ overlays and exposed to controls designed to minimise flood risk to life and property.
Asked if the overlays would affect the values of affected properties, the council’s city strategy general manager, Natalie Reiter, said values were affected by many factors and often locations near waterways remained desirable despite the flood risk.
A background briefing report considered by councillors points out that the presentation of flood mapping “has the potential to create some community concern”.
“However, given the relatively recent flood events in the Burrumbeet Creek catchment and the three phases of informal community consultation that took place in March 2012, February and November 2013, the community ... are aware of flood risk and the undertaking of this investigation,” it states.
The council received state government funding for a Burrumbeet Flood Investigation study after the area was hit by damaging floods in 2010 and 2011.
The study identifies land that could be at risk of a one-in-100-year flood and sets out a series of flood mitigation recommendations for Miners Rest and other areas around the Burrumbeet Creek.
The development of a levee and a flash flood warning system are also proposed.
Ms Reiter said there was currently no formal flood warning system for the Burrumbeet Creek.
“Flood warning is the responsibility of the Bureau of Meteorology, and this council report enables a system to be considered further,” she said.
“Likewise, the investigation considered mitigation to reduce the affects of floods.”
Catchment Management Authorities are responsible for identifying one-in-100-year flood areas along Victorian rivers and streams, but the insurance industry has its own Australia-wide database of flood risk for individual properties.
Ms Reiter said the flood levels determined by a previous 2003 study were based on limited data.
“The floods of 2010-11 filled the data gap, enabling the investigation to be completed with much higher reliability,” she said.
Several long-term residents said they had had never seen such severe flooding from the Burrumbeet Creek.